Super-high winds, rain will make a wild Sierra weekend
Strong winds are headed toward Reno this weekend, and forecasters are concerned that they could damage loose property.
A two-part storm that may bring some rain with it is heading in from the Pacific Coast and will arrive in Reno as early as Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service. Winds of about 25 to 30 mph are expected through Friday, with up to 70 mph gusts, and more wind may pass through Reno on Saturday night and into Sunday.
"Everyone has a lot of decorations up already. That stuff will just go flying," said Edan Weishahn, a meteorologist in Reno.
The U.S. Highway 395 corridor will be particularly windy from the Reno-Tahoe area north, Weishahn said, and high profile vehicles may experience difficulty driving due to cross winds during that time. Flight delays are likely, and cancellations could be in store, Weishahn said.
The National Weather Service also advised that dangerous conditions are expected at area lakes in the Northern Sierra region.
While the Sierra crest is expecting about 4 inches of rain, the Reno and surrounding areas will only see about a half-inch of rain during the second round of the storm.
"A lot of times with these storms. The Sierra kind of acts as a barrier for the rains," said Weishahn.
The rainfall will not be enough to assuage drought conditions, though five or more of these storms would be helpful throughout the season, Weishahn said. The National Weather Service also issued a fire advisory, noting that a fire started in any of the drier areas south of Interstate 80 would be detrimental in such conditions.
Snowfall will be relatively high during this storm, in elevations 8,500 feet and higher. Travel impacts are possible on Sunday near Donner, Echo, and Mt. Rose to name a few, although the National Weather Service urged locals to check in frequently on the agency's website and social media for continuing updates throughout the week.